R10 Personality of the Month – Jong Chang Yi

Seoul Section

Jong Chang Yi became an IEEE member in 1987 and has been actively contributing as an IEEE volunteer since 2005, when he was invited to join IEEE Seoul Section’s Executive Committee. After serving in various positions, he was appointed as chair in 2017 and re-elected in 2018.

Yi started his IEEE volunteer career as the section’s newsletter coordinator in 2005 and 2006. His next assignment was to serve as the student activity committee chair in 2007 and 2008, which motivated him to start a student branch in his campus. He attended the 2016 IEEE Rising Star Conference, a Region 6 student branch workshop, where he realized how undergraduate students could play important roles in enriching and enhancing section activities. On his return, he motivated undergraduate students to organize their own student branch and help them to participate in and even contribute to various university-wide programs such as the open campus events for middle school students and the multidisciplinary creativity competition events. Luckily, the undergraduate student body had developed enthusiastic leadership and produced wonderful results such as organizing municipal VR art festival funded by city offices, developing safety devices for kindergarten students, and opening weekend coding classes for elementary students. Yi invited the student leaders to participate in 2018 R10 SYWL Conference, Bali, Indonesia, and on their return, they played a key role in hosting 2018 IEEE TENCON in Jeju, Korea.

All the members from various sections and 30 odd chapters in Korea circulate correspondence at least once a year, and that is for the student paper contest. The focus on student activities is not limited within sections or chapters. 2017-2018 R10 Director Kukjin Chun invited research scholars for various events and promoted student activities all over the region. One such event was when Prof. Toshio Fukuda visited Seoul to give a lecture on AI robotics in 2018. Prof. Byung-Gook Park and other section members also invited many researchers from industry. Yi took the responsibility of organizing those workshops and conferences with enthusiasm and pleasure, especially for 2018 IEEE TENCON, 2017 IEEE Smart Tech Seoul, and special seminars.

Jong Chang Yi’s research area is focused on photonic devices such as LEDs, solar cells, and LDs for optical communications. He served as Head of School of Electronics and Electrical Engineering at Hongik University, Seoul, Korea, and Vice-President of the Optical Society of Korea. He also served as on-campus Director of Wired and Wireless Optical Communication Research Center, and Metamaterial Electronic Device Research Center. His current research projects focus on smart blocks and smart toys for kindergarten students and elderly persons utilizing photonic devices and smart sensors. For the exhibition of these products, he used to regularly attend the CES (Consumer Electronic Show). Taking advantage of that annual event, Yi supported undergraduate students to participate in Rising Star Conference as well as the CES. In 2019, two students participated in the conference and one of them served as a volunteer for the IEEE Booth at CES for three days. One of them now runs his own on-campus venture company and another served as the chairperson of Hongik University Student Branch. Yi’s devotion to the students gained him the prestigious R10 Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2019, which was awarded only for the second time to a Korean after Prof. Kyun Hyun Tchah in 2003.